#OTD in Irish History – 9 September:

In the Liturgical calendar, this is the feast day of St Ciarán of Clonmacnoise. He was one of the early Irish monastic saints and Irish bishop. He is sometimes called Ciarán the Younger to distinguish him from Saint Ciarán of Saighir. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He dies on this date in 545.

872 – Earliest verifiable date of a Viking invasion of Ireland in Dunrally.

1806 – Death of Antrim born William Patterson, a signatory of the U.S. Constitution and a Supreme Court Justice. Patterson’s family emigrated when he was a child. He went on to become the first Attorney General of New Jersey and a governor of the state.

1807 – Birth of Anglican archbishop and poet, Richard Chenevix Trench, in Dublin.

1831 – 30,000 pounds is allocated to establish “national” system of elementary education in Ireland.

1845 – The arrival of the potato blight in Ireland is reported in the Dublin Evening Post.

1852 – The last day of the Tenant League Conference in Dublin.

1890 – Birth of physician, Dorothy Stopford Price, in Dublin. She was key to the elimination of childhood tuberculosis in Ireland by introducing the BCG vaccine. Dorothy’s first job was as a dispensary doctor in Kilbrittain in Co Cork, where she also engaged in the Irish War of Independence, tending to injured members of the IRA. During the ensuing Irish Civil War, she favoured the Republican side. Dorothy joined Cumann na mBan, and gave lectures on first aid as part of her involvement.

1893 – House of Lords rejects Second Home Rule Bill. (It was the second attempt made by William E. Gladstone, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to enact a system of home rule for Ireland. Unlike the first attempt, which was defeated in the House of Commons, the second Bill was passed by the Commons only to be vetoed by the House of Lords.)

1916 – Death of Thomas Michael “Tom” Kettle. He was a journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier, economist and Home Rule politician. As a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for East Tyrone from 1906 to 1910 at Westminster. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, then on the outbreak of World War I in 1914 enlisted for service in an Irish regiment where in 1916 he met his death on the Western Front.

1922 – Republicans attack and take Kenmare in Co Kerry. A total of 84 Anti-Treaty fighters take over the town and shoot dead local pro-treaty officer Tom “Scarteen” O’Connor” and his brother after taking them prisoner. They take 120 National Army troops in the town prisoner, but later release them. They capture 110 rifles and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. This action allowed the Kerry Anti-Treaty units to pursue a fairly effective guerrilla campaign for the remainder of the war.

1922 – A British intelligence report states that the Free State intelligence unit, the Crime Investigation Department or CID has, “murdered a number of prominent republicans” in Dublin.

1922 – Anti-Treaty fighters attack the barracks at Carrickmacross. One Free State soldier is killed and two wounded in the firing. A civilian is also killed in the crossfire

1922 – The newly elected Daíl Éireann meets to frame its constitution and elects William T. Cosgrave President of the Executive Committee.

1963 – Cardinal William Conway becomes Primate of All Ireland.

1971 – A British soldier was killed trying to defuse a bomb near Lisburn.

1975 – British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, together with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, held a meeting with leader of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, to brief her about a number of matters including Northern Ireland. On 3 May 2006, the Irish News published details of confidential cabinet minutes that had been taken at the meeting. The minutes reveal that the British government was aware of collusion between the security forces, particularly the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), and Loyalist paramilitaries.

1976 – The leaders of the main churches in Ireland issued a statement supporting the Women’s Peace Movement.

1978 – U2 support The Stranglers at the Top Hat Ballroom in Dublin before a crowd of 2,500 people, their biggest to date. The band is paid 50 pounds.

1981 – The National Concert Hall in Dublin officially opened.

1992 – Ian Paisley, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), together with Peter Robinson, Deputy leader of the DUP, walked out of Strand Two of the political talks (later known as the Brooke/Mayhew talks). The politicians left because Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution were not the first item on the agenda for the talks. Two members of the DUP remained in the talks as ‘observers’.

1994 – John Taylor, Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), said that he believed that the IRA ceasefire was “for real”.

1996 – The ‘General Head Quarters’ (GHQ) faction of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) announced that the group was disbanding. This decision followed the killing of Hugh Torney on 3 September 1996. This marked the ending of a feud within the INLA which started with the killing of Gino Gallagher on 30 January 1996. This latest feud had claimed six lives.

1996 – The Stormont talks resumed after a break during the summer. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the United Kingdom Unionists brought a complaint against the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) for breach of the ‘Mitchell Principles’ because of their failure to condemn threats made against Billy Wright and Alex Kerr; both Loyalists from Portadown, Co Armagh.

1996 – The Irish Times published the details of a poll, one of the results of which showed that two-thirds of people in Northern Ireland thought the Stormont talks would fail.

1997 – Petrol bombs were thrown at the homes of two Catholic families in the Protestant Ballykeel estate in Ballymena, Co Antrim. One of the families, who had been living on the estate for 33 years, decided to leave their home following the attack.

1997 – Representatives of Sinn Féin entered Stormont, Belfast, to sign a pledge that the party would agree to abide by the Mitchell Principles. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) all refused to attend the session. The PUP and the UDP held meetings with Security Minister, Adam Ingram, to discuss the situation of Loyalist prisoners. A number of UDP supporters took part in a protest outside the gates of Stormont.

1997 – Secretary of State of the United States, Madeline Albright, asked the Attorney General to suspend the extradition to Britain of six men who were former members of the IRA.

1999 – Patten Report Published: The Report of the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland was released and was accompanied by a statement from the author Chris Patten. Patten called on Catholics to join the RUC. It contained recommendations for a radical overhaul of the police service in the region. The proposed changes to the ethos, composition, training and structure of the RUC met with a mixed reaction. David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), described it as “the most shoddy piece of work I have seen in my entire life”, and there were strong objections from rank-and-file RUC officers. The UUP also issued an initial statement on the report. Many criticisms related to the proposed change to the name and symbols of the RUC. Ian Paisley, Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), issued a statement about the proposals. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) statement and the Sinn Féin (SF) statement indicated that the two parties were prepared to view the document positively. Secretary of State of Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, issued a statement. The Irish government issued a statement on the report. The Police Federation for Northern Ireland also issued a statement.

1999 – There was a sectarian attack on a 13-year-old Catholic student attending Hazelwood Integrated College in north Belfast. The young boy was attacked by three loyalists and beaten with baseball bats and shot in the stomach with a pellet gun. The attack happened near the White City estate in Belfast. Police said the motive for the attack was sectarian.

1999 – There was an inquest in Belfast into the death by hanging of William Giles (41). Giles had been part of an Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang which had abducted and killed Michael Fay (25), a Catholic civilian, on 20 November 1982. Giles had been released from prison in 1997 after serving a 15 year life sentence. It was claimed that Giles had hanged himself out of remorse.

2001 – Protestant residents of Ardoyne defy church leaders and politicians by continuing their protest outside north Belfast’s Holy Cross primary school.

2001 – Family, friends and fans pay tribute to actor Joe Lynch during a special commemorative mass at the Catholic Pro-Cathedral in Dublin.

2001 – Three suspected IRA members – Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan – are transferred from La Modelo federal prison to a high security jail in Bogota over fears for their safety.

2002 – Bob Geldof delivers a moving speech at the launch of the world’s first genocide centre in Nottinghamshire.

2002 – Castletown, Co Laois, is declared Ireland’s Tidiest Town.

2016 – Rock climber, Iain Miller – who runs an adventure company in Donegal – managed to make it to the top of one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, Dun Briste, in Co Mayo, the first climber in 25 years. Meaning ‘broken fort’, the towering sea stack sits 260 ft off the shoreline and rises  more than 400 ft above the water. Dun Briste is notoriously difficult to master for a number of reasons. Firstly, the unpredictable sea makes boat access tricky. It was his third attempt climbing the stack and he was cheered on by a group of locals on the headland.

Image | Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly

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